Kelly Ryan's Corner - September 2004!

Kelly Ryan's personal area to answer your questions about getting into fitness.
This year has been such a great year so far due to the simple fact that I have been able to travel while guest posing all over the U.S. so much. This has really allowed me to become more in touch with the fans and to communicate with people more face to face. Most of the times I am almost unrecognized by people because I change my hair color often LOLOL.

Just so you guys know when you come to the GNC or Olympia I will have brown hair again. The blonde phase has run its course and I am now back to my natural color with highlights of course ha-ha. Anyway Craig and I just returned from performing in Belleville, Michigan and we were able to spend time with our good friends while we were there.

I would like to say thank you to Tommy and Kellee Ostrander for all of your great hospitality, even while Tommy was competing. Good luck and much continued success with your two gyms, Powerhouse Gym on the Michigan State campus, and Fit Zone, ( the new all women's gym. Way to go you two!

Speaking of competing, the Show of Strength in Atlanta Georgia is quickly approaching October 8th, for info on tickets and the show go to and of course the Olympia Weekend got to . Craig and I will be at the Pinnacle/Cytodyne booth for both shows so please come and say hello, we love it! I really hope all the fans will try to make it out for these two great shows, it means so much to us as competitors.

Lastly, Emperor Entertainment is throwing the Olympia After Party at club Seven this year, hosted by Adela Garcia-Friedmansky, Jenny Lynn, Starling Steele, Craig Titus and myself. for after party tickets in advance. See ya real soon!!!!!

[ Q ] Dear Kelly, I have been following your career in the magazines for some time now so I trust your thoughts and advice. I've just finished a run of four amateur shows in Figure and this last one was a real heartbreaker! I took 3rd out of 13 in the short class when just three weeks before I had won 1st.

Point being, I am well aware of the subjectivity of the judging and the whole too hard vs. too soft thing. (I am 8% body fat.) How do I mentally move on? I want to attack the gym and put on more muscle, but it's hard to mentally focus when you feel a bit upset.

I know you have not achieved first place in the Fitness Olympia, what do you do to motivate yourself when you feel you should have won? (I feel you should have) Also, what type of creatine do you use? I have had stomach upset from using creatine before.

Thanks a lot for your time,

    A. Thanks Erinn so much for your support and congratulations as a whole for your accomplishments in your Figure competitions. Listen, this is one of the most difficult things to get used to when you first begin competing because you have sacrificed and worked so hard to get ready for the shows.

    There will always be situations like this one anytime you do something competitively. My best piece of advice is to turn this upset into something positive like fuel for your workouts. Let that emotion not turn into depression but a feisty spirit that will make you mad and aggressive to go after it even harder next time. Your frustration with your placing can lead to some of the best workouts ever!

    I have not won the Olympia yet but you know what, I say to myself, I will just keep coming back better every year until I do win, and I get really excited about stepping on stage again. Do not let this emotion set you back, let it set you free and focus all of your heart, and inner desire on the work it takes to get better every time the judges see you on stage.

    You can do this Erinn and I know once it happens, you will be so psyched to compete again. To answer your second question, I have just started using our brand new creatine from Pinnacle called Esterified Creatine 4000, and it is in a pill form. The technology behind this product makes it extremely advanced and great for people like you and I that continually want to improve muscle mass and quality.

    The Rapid Release Technology helps speed up creatine availability with the net result of your muscle tissue being kept more saturated with much less waste of creatine. In short, more bang for the buck. I highly recommend it; I use it before my routine workouts for endurance and love it.

[ Q ] How long after cardio should I wait to eat?

Thank You,

    A. The answer to this question is you do not have to wait to eat after you do cardio exercise. When I do my morning cardio session on an empty stomach I make sure that I eat directly afterwards to start my day out right.

    Here is another suggestion, if you are following a certain meal plan and eating every three hours, make sure you do not skip meals while training or doing your cardio. Your nutrition makes up 80% of the program and it is very important to stay on your schedule so your body gets the nutrients it needs to keep your metabolism going. You can actually speed up your metabolism just by doing this type of nutrition program. Keep up the great work!

[ Q ] Hi Kelly! I've read that you go to a chiropractor and I was wondering if you could give me some advice. Sometimes, especially when I've been hitting the gym hard and working out a lot, my feet hurt.

It's usually my left one more than my right. I can hardly stand on it. Even my knees, hips and low back seem to bother me too when it gets real bad. It makes working out difficult and extremely frustrating. I heard that chiropractic might help. What do you think? Have you ever had this problem?


    A. Yes indeed Sara. Not so much of the foot pain, but sometimes the front of my hips and thighs hurt especially when I've been training hard for a competition. If I don't get it taken care of my low back starts to ache and the irritation in my hip becomes sharp pain. Believe me you do not want it to get to this point.

    I see Dr. Dean Stuart at Addition2 Chiropractic. He tells me foot, knee, hip, and back pain are related through something called a kinetic chain. Whatever happens in your feet works its way up into your hips and even into your low back if left untreated long enough. You see problems in one area affect the other areas which gives you pain in several different spots.

    Sometimes chiropractic adjustments like the ones I get to the pelvis and low back, help foot and knee pain, but mostly I believe it works the other way around. Foot pain can be helped with things like deep tissue therapy, ultra sound, ice?chiropractors can even adjust the joints in your feet!

    Dr. Stuart treats all types of problems, not just the typical necks and backs it is great. In fact, anywhere there's a joint with muscles, tendons, and ligaments he says chiropractic might be able to help. I sure hope this helps, make sure to keep yourself healthy.

[ Q ] I was wondering if you could tell me your opinion/advice on food separating (eating fats/protein separate from carbs). Have you ever tried it and do you find it better than combining? I am not a pro nor am I looking to go pro. I am a mom of three children wanting to obtain my dream/goal of trying to have the physique (or as close as possible) as a professional.

Thank you for your time,

    A. Absolutely, I do believe in food separation but I eat my protein all day long and pair it in my morning to mid afternoon meals with complex carbohydrates and then have my protein, veggies with my fats in the evening.

    I definitely find it better than combining all the food groups together because of how your body uses food and its' own body fat for energy. Your body will use both a complex carbohydrate and a fat for energy and will usually pull from one source while the other is stored. Food combining eliminates this problem and allows your body to maximize the results you desire from your training.

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    You should also keep in mind that your daily activity level determines the amount of complex carbohydrates you need to have in your diet. If you are not very active, and have a job where you sit at a desk all day long, then you should keep your complex carbs to maybe one meal a day, two at the most. As a female you should only be taking in 4 ounces of protein or between 20-30 grams per meal.

    One serving of complex carbohydrates equals between 20-30 grams, and I have one serving plus my protein with two-three of my morning meals because of my high activity level each day. It can take up to a cup and a half of veggies to equal 20-30 grams, the amount equivalent to one serving. I love making a nice grilled chicken breast salad with a handful of cashews on top for my evening meal.

    I cover all the bases here with the 4 ounces of chicken as my protein source, the salad as my fibrous carbohydrate, and the cashews as my fat source. Stick with this system because it works and you'll feel great and stay healthy while watching what you eat.

[ Q ] Hi! Wow it is awesome to be able to write to you! I am 17 years old and started working out about a year and a half ago. Thanks to you I have found something that fits me perfectly. I am entering my first competition on Nov. 6th in Phoenix and I am so excited.

Dieting has been a whole new challenge in itself. Is there any advice that you could give to a first time competitor? I just want to feel as prepared as possible. There are not many people in my town that work out or understand what I do, so as you could imagine, information is limited.

Not a lot of high school seniors pack six meals a day and spend 3-4 hours at the gym a day. It has turned into my great passion and ambition. Thank you for inspiring me. I hope to hear from you soon!

Thanks a lot for your time,

    A. You totally made my day! Thank you so much for your e-mail and for saying that I inspire you. I really appreciate your sweet words. It is my goal to help as many girls get started in fitness because of how much it changed my life.

    I love hearing that you are going to start competing at such a young age; I did my first show when I was 23 and here you are only 17 years old. The best advice I can give you is to try to take all of the emotion out of the dieting. My first contest diet was so hard because I had never done anything like it before and it felt like I was being so restricted.

    You sound like you've already got the system down with your pre-packed six meals a day (also see #4 above) Fantastic job!!! Take it one day at a time and focus on what you need to get done for the show each and every day. Try not to run around doing things that are going to take time away from your training, cardio or recovery time.

    Make a check list of things you need for the show and each day try to get a couple of things accomplished. Set small goals each week so you don't feel overwhelmed and at night time visualize yourself going through the motions on stage. By the time the show comes you will be so mentally and physically prepared that competing will be like a walk in the park for you.

    Expect to be nervous backstage but turn that nervous energy into confidence and smile, smile, smile! It will show the judges you are having fun, and that you are comfortable in that type of environment. Other than that good luck and I will be thinking of you come Nov. 6th. Go get em' girl, and from here to the show nothing but positive thoughts!

That is all for this month's Kelly's Corner. Keep sending those great questions and working hard towards your goals in fitness. Together we can achieve our goals and make them a reality. See you next month and take care!